The Paul McCartney Project

Big Boys Bickering

Written by Paul McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Hope Of Deliverance CD Single.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1992

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Song facts

From The Beatles Rarity:

“Big Boys Bickering” is none other than a protest song where Paul is making a statement about how our politicians waste our money. Some will say that his repeated use of the “f-word” is a tad out of character for a knighted ex-Beatle. I’m guessing it’s a consequence of how serious he is about the point he’s making – one that unfortunately still applies today. What more can I say?

From the “New World Tour” tour book:

It was hard re-visiting Tokyo after my drugs bust. It was some kind of exorcism. We knew that we had to go there on the tour. The first few nights we had strange dreams and screaming headaches. But while I was there I wrote Big Boys Bickering and for the first time in a song, I used the word ‘fucking’ which I knew would upset some people.

I think it was my first protest song since Give Ireland Back To The Irish. I’ve avoided them, thinking, This is for the politicians, or sometimes, I can say it in interviews. You have to be very incensed to find the inspiration to do it right. I think there’s a bit of John Lennon inspiration in this one. It’s Lennonesque to my mind anyway. John wouldn’t have thought twice about saying ‘fuck’ in a song.

But when you think of the ozone layer being depleted, a 50-mile hole over the world that’s going to kill us if we don’t do something, and then you think of what happened at the Rio summit, do you think of that as a ‘flipping hole’ or a ‘fucking hole’?

“I’m proud of it. I’m not a teenybopper. I’m an artist. I’ve written serious stuff before and I’m writing it now. You don’t like it, don’t buy it.

Paul McCartney

Last updated on May 11, 2019

Lyrics

Big boys bickering,
That's what they're doin' ev'ryday.
Big boys bickering,
Fuckin' it up for ev'ryone, ev'ryone.

Guess while they're betting on the track,
They're tryin' to win your money back.
All of the taxes that you paid,
Went to fund the masquerade.

Big boys bickering,
That's what they're doin' all the day.
Big boys bickering,
Fuckin' it up in ev'ry way, ev'ry way.

We stand here waiting
Underneath the tower block.
Who will win and who will lose?
Which way do the big boys choose?
Which of us will never know what goes on?

Who will win, who will lose?

So while they argue through the night,
Shakin' their sticks of dynamite,
Babies are dying through the day,
They wanna blow us all away.

Big boys bickering,
And so the game goes on and on.
Big boys bickering,
Fucking it up for ev'ryone, ev'ryone,
For ev'ryone, for ev'ryone, for ev'ryone,
For ev'ryone, ev'ryone.

Fucking it up for ev'ryone,
(fuckin' it up for ev'ryone)
Fucking it up for ev'ryone,
Ev'ryone, ev'ryone,
Ev'ry, ev'ry, ev'ry, ev'ry, ev'ryone.

Officially appears on


Hope Of Deliverance

CD Single • Released in 1992

3:19 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Backing vocals, Tambourine
Robbie McIntosh:
Backing vocals, Slide guitar
Hamish Stuart:
Backing vocals, Bass
Paul Wickens:
Accordion, Backing vocals
Blair Cunningham:
Drums
Julian Mendelsohn:
Producer
Bob Kraushaar:
Engineer

Session Recording:
December 1991 - July 1992
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
September - October 1992
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK


Off the Ground - The Complete Works

Official album • Released in 1993

3:20 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Backing vocals, Tambourine
Robbie McIntosh:
Backing vocals, Slide guitar
Hamish Stuart:
Backing vocals, Bass
Paul Wickens:
Accordion, Backing vocals
Blair Cunningham:
Drums
Julian Mendelsohn:
Producer
Bob Kraushaar:
Engineer

Session Recording:
December 1991 - July 1992
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
September - October 1992
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Bootlegs


First Night

Unofficial live • Released in 1993

4:33 • Live


B-Sides Complete Vol. 3

Unofficial album • Released in 2000

3:20 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Backing vocals, Tambourine
Robbie McIntosh:
Backing vocals, Slide guitar
Hamish Stuart:
Backing vocals, Bass
Paul Wickens:
Accordion, Backing vocals
Blair Cunningham:
Drums
Julian Mendelsohn:
Producer
Bob Kraushaar:
Engineer

Session Recording:
December 1991 - July 1992
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
September - October 1992
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK


UK Singles Collection - Volume 05

Unofficial album • Released in 2007

3:23 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Backing vocals, Tambourine
Robbie McIntosh:
Backing vocals, Slide guitar
Hamish Stuart:
Backing vocals, Bass
Paul Wickens:
Accordion, Backing vocals
Blair Cunningham:
Drums
Julian Mendelsohn:
Producer
Bob Kraushaar:
Engineer

Session Recording:
December 1991 - July 1992
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
September - October 1992
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK


Up Close - Ultimate Archive Collection

Unofficial album • Released in 2015

3:24 • Live

Concert From ""Up Close" taping" in New York City, USA on Dec 10, 1992


Off The Ground - Ultimate Archive Collection

Unofficial album • Released in 2015

3:21 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Backing vocals, Tambourine
Robbie McIntosh:
Backing vocals, Slide guitar
Hamish Stuart:
Backing vocals, Bass
Paul Wickens:
Accordion, Backing vocals
Blair Cunningham:
Drums
Julian Mendelsohn:
Producer
Bob Kraushaar:
Engineer

Session Recording:
December 1991 - July 1992
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
September - October 1992
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK


Live performances

“Big Boys Bickering” has been played in 2 concerts.

Latest concerts where “Big Boys Bickering” has been played


"Up Close" taping

Dec 11, 1992 • USA • New York City • The Ed Sullivan Theatre • TV show


"Up Close" taping

Dec 10, 1992 • USA • New York City • The Ed Sullivan Theatre • TV show


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